Our young people in Barking & Dagenham are setting the standard!

28/01/2022 News

Generously funded by Monday Charitable Trust, 21 students from schools in Barking and Dagenham took part in a recent Building Futures Skills programme, delivered in partnership with Willmott Dixon based on the local Gascoigne Estate.   

The 3-day employer-led programme aims to develop industry careers awareness and prepare young people for the world of work. Students work alongside industry professionals to gain an immersive understanding of what it is really like to work within construction and the built environment.   

Over the 3-days, students were challenged with creating an original sustainable design proposal for a newly acquired development site at the Gascoigne Estate. Each young person was assigned a construction related role within their group, where they had to take on responsibilities to contribute to their group’s design. The 3-day programme culminated in a pitch to industry professionals, who decided the winning group! 

As part of the programme, students took part in a site tour, where they asked a multitude of questions exploring newly discovered roles covering crane operations, groundwork and scaffolding. This is an excellent way for the students to experience first-hand how a site operates and how each job on site is vital to the completion of the project! 

The programme also gives students the opportunity to develop vital employability skills such as teamwork and initiative as they embody the roles and work as a team to create the best design! 

Budding Brunels was an interesting and fascinating programme, it helped us grow as individuals such as developing our communication skills and being able to work with other students and learning about teamwork. It also has taught us public speaking, which is very scary but the staff and your teammates help you throughout. Overall, it was a lovely experience and if i had the chance to go back, I wouldn’t hesitate, the knowledge that is shared is truly beneficial especially if you aren’t too sure on a career path and the people you meet are amazing which makes this experience even better! – A student from the winning team   

I cannot wait for the work experience, I learnt so much from the 3 days alone, so thank you once more for this opportunity and the Budding Brunels program, it's something I will genuinely never forget!  - Student from the programme 

As a result of their high level of professionalism, focus, questioning and presentations, all 21 of the students have been offered a work experience placement! We were so impressed with them all and we cannot wait to hear how they get on.   

A special thanks to Natalie and all the other industry volunteers at Willmott Dixon for being so engaging with the students and facilitating the 3-day programme.